A 1956 Alexandria Rambler with Eclectic Interior Decor


Eclectic Yellow Bedroom with Patterned Sofa

An Alan Campbell-upholstered sofa and antique rug ottoman—both by Lee Industries—join caned chairs by Palecek to create a seating area in the eclectic master bedroom. Cavin-Winfrey’s vast collection of antique Staffordshire figurines is on full display on the Oly Studio side table and custom raffia-wrapped shelving cabinet.

Contemporary White Bathroom with Mirrored Wall

Reclaimed barnwood with Kohler hardware fronts a custom vanity in the master bath. In the corner, the open shower features floor and wall tiles by Lunada Bay Tile from Architectural Ceramics.

Contemporary Neutral Exterior with Treelined Backyard

Designed by SCW Interiors, the backyard is a streamlined respite from the layered interiors. Outdoor furniture from Restoration Hardware and a round sculpture from Made Goods sit at the base of the straight-edged pool by Lewis Aquatech.

Eclectic White Breakfast Area with Patterned Banquette

The dining room offers a multitude of seating options with Oly Studio armchairs in a Jerry Pair leather and a custom wall-to-wall banquette in Groundworks’ Ombre Maze in lilac. The steel-and- antique-mirror tables are from SCW Interiors’ private label, and the recycled-glass chandelier is by Ro Sham Beaux in Charleston, South Carolina.

Eclectic White Living Room with Chest

Showcasing layered mirrors and collected goods, this antique chest of drawers was found by the designer at Karla Katz Antiques on a trip to New Orleans. Christine Round Tall side tables by Oly Studio offer a required touch of black to this room to mix up the neutral palette.

Eclectic White Living Room with Skylight

Nubby textures and more unexpected décor are at home in the living room, where matching L-shaped custom sofas by Cavin-Winfrey don Groundworks’ Kumano Weave fabric in beige and Samuel & Sons trim. A peek into the study reveals a menagerie of miniature figures on the shared bookshelves.

Eclectic Neutral Hall Detail with Rocking Horse

Upon entering, the family (and guests) are greeted by an antique rocking horse—a gift from Cavin-Winfrey’s grandmother—covered in Phillip Jeffries’ Rings wallpaper. As a dramatic foil, the designer chose the same textile in an inverted colorway for the adjacent wall. A framed antique quilt amps up the character of the space.

Eclectic White Study with Double-Sided Bookshelf

Off the entry, Baxter counter stools by Furniture Classics surround a custom table in a casual study. Bookshelves were built into the structure of the home and highlight Cavin-Winfrey’s many unique finds and quirky trinkets. Circa Lighting pendants overhead allow for reading after dark.

Eclectic White Living Room with Stone Console Table

Artist Santiago Pérez’s The Ship of Fools: The Hunt for the Space Whale, acquired through Nüart Gallery in Santa Fe, adds color and whimsy to the mostly cream- hued room. Taking pride of place in the same vignette is the lion head-accented Leone console by David Iatesta.

Eclectic White Living Room with Trees

The family room of this home by designer— and owner—Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey features sofas upholstered in Robert Allen fabric with Samuel & Sons trim. A rope-wrapped Currey & Company chandelier echoes the natural texture of the Stark carpet; a Henredon hutch seamlessly blends into the subtle color scheme of the space.

Contemporary Neutral Front Elevation with French Windows

“Shazalynn described her vision for the exterior as having a wine country aesthetic,” Christine A. Kelly says. “Portions of the existing house were stucco, which she liked and wanted to integrate throughout the entire exterior finish. We also designed parapet walls around the perimeter of the house and selected wood windows with an exterior black aluminum cladding to create the aesthetic she was looking for.”

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself—aloud,” said the indomitable Coco Chanel. By that standard, the home of designer Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey in Alexandria, Virginia, which she shares with her husband and two children, expresses her particular character in a booming timbre. And that’s the point. “The space is experiential,” says Cavin-Winfrey. “You come in and immediately get a sense of who we are. It’s about our collections, the raw materials that indicate we’re not from an urban area, and things that are both old and new.” To say the interiors are idiosyncratic is to put it mildly.

Cavin-Winfrey was born, she says, to “hippie parents” in Roswell, New Mexico, (to which she attributes the uniqueness of her name) and raised in Midland, Texas. When her husband’s job brought them to the D.C. area, they purchased a 1956 rambler that had suffered many additions. They didn’t like the layout or the kit greenhouse that jutted out from the façade, but the abundance of fenestration—there were 11 skylights throughout— ensured plenty of natural light, something every Southwest girl craves.

After a few initial cosmetic changes to make it livable, the couple decided on a complete overhaul. For that, they engaged architect Christine A. Kelly and general contractor Greg Butenhoff of Butenhoff Construction. “Shazalynn described her vision for the exterior as having a wine country aesthetic,” Kelly says. “Portions of the existing house were stucco, which she liked and wanted to integrate throughout the entire exterior finish. We also designed parapet walls around the perimeter of the house and selected wood windows with an exterior black aluminum cladding to create the aesthetic she was looking for.”

Kelly also gave the home low-sloping and flat roofs, while the landscape emphasizes the cleaner Postmodernist profile with topiary-like clipped hedges and tidy flagstone paths. Inside, Kelly says, “We maintained all of the existing skylights and opened up the floor plan to create better flow and help the light stream throughout.”

Not surprisingly, the interiors are as distinctive as Cavin-Winfrey’s first name. A portrait of her with her children—by Santa Fe-based artist Erin Cone—in the entry sets the tone; mom is cropped out of the frame above the abdomen. “The place is filled with crazy stuff,” she admits rather happily: colorfully whimsical artwork; framed textiles from around the world; a tray of tortoiseshells and a handmade angel doll in the living room; an antique rocking horse covered in Phillip Jeffries wallpaper boasting the reverse colors of the same paper that covers the wall against which it sits; animal head masks in her son’s room that double as hat hooks; and an array of antique Staffordshire dogs in the master bedroom. Cavin-Winfrey the minimalist? Perish the thought. “The house is not huge,” the designer explains. “So it was important to create a cohesive color scheme with textures and subtle neutral patterns.”

The resulting creams and beiges, along with a bleached floor that “plays up the light,” allow the family’s eclectic possessions to become the focus. Because the open plan achieved Cavin-Winfrey’s desire to have “spaces fall one into the other,” the subdued palette also sidesteps a feeling of disjunction between rooms. Touches of black in every room, she says, “help ground things so it’s not all an ambiguous tone-on-tone environment.”

Furnishings are “fresh, natural and unforced,” making even the living room invitingly comfortable and intimate. And an abundance of texture—a rope-wrapped chandelier and linen curtains in the family room, slate floors and wicker stools in the study, nailhead-trimmed pieces in many spaces—impart an alluring tactility. All of these conspire to create a mise-en-scène that could belong only to this family. And though the softness of palette and abundant upholstered comfort whispers rather than bellows, in almost every other aspect, these interiors speak with a confident, full-throated and singular voice.